China’s EV Makers Have Tariffs as Well as Tesla and GM To Tackle — Panjiva
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China’s EV Makers Have Tariffs as Well as Tesla and GM To Tackle

China 1762 Cons. Discr. - Autos 664 Germany 163 Japan 382 Tariffs 1175 U.S. 3310

Chinese automakers Byton, Guangzhou Auto and NIO plan to start selling electric vehicles in the U.S. from 2020, Nikkei reports. That would require two significant shifts in U.S. tariff policy to become realistic. Firstly, as outlined in Panjiva research of Nov. 2, the U.S. section 301 duties have applied a 25% tariff on Chinese electric vehicle exports. That’s largely notional given there have been no exports to the U.S. so far and given a steady improvement in trade negotiations may lead to the tariffs’ removal.

Secondly the forthcoming section 232 review of the automotive industry may apply a further level of tariffs of 25% against all imports of vehicles, including electric. Exemptions already apply to shipments from Mexico and Canada under USMCA while, in theory, manufacturers from the EU and Japan should be exempt while trade negotiations are ongoing.

Panjiva data shows that U.S. imports of electric vehicles reached $1.33 billion in the 12 months to Nov. 30. By contrast exports – led by Tesla as well as General Motors’ Bolt – were worth $3.39 billion. Chinese retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports are likely one reason why export growth of just 1.7% in the 12 months to Nov. 30 versus 2017 – note that data for electric vehicles specifically were not published until January 2017 – versus a 8.0% expansion in imports.

TESLA TOOK A TUMBLE

Chart segments U.S. trade in electric vehicles (HS 8703.80) by direction on a monthly and three-month average basis.  Source: Panjiva

The leading import lanes were from Japan, which was equivalent to 81.3% of imports in the 12 months to Nov. 30, and 7.5% from Germany with the former being representative of shipments of Nissan’s Leaf while the latter includes BMW’s i-series vehicles.

LEAF LEADS U.S. EV IMPORTS

Chart segments U.S. imports of electric vehicles (HS 8703.80) by direction by origin.  Source: Panjiva

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